Product design. This is my definition, at least. The term is being used to describe any interface designer who happens to work on a product, which is unfortunate, but I’ll keep using this one.
But why us? Why should designers be in these roles? Well, one immediate answer is simply that I would like to be in control over the future I’m building. Right now, many of us can only change our answer to Wilson’s questions by just quitting and finding a new job where we’re bought into the vision.
But deeper, I think this is something designers can be really great at. We already understand how to induce utility, delight, motivation at the level of the interface. Expanding that toolset to apply to the bigger picture is not a huge leap.
This is a way of thinking about design that’s growing in popularity, but I recognize that it’s still a minority, maybe even an extreme minority. Nonetheless, I remain optimistic. When I look at the major shifts in our field over the past years — user-centered design, standards-based design, responsive design — years of advocacy have led to genuine, sustained progress. I’m confident we’ll get there.
David Cole, on Product Designers, via (86) Applied Discovery: Presentation from Build 2013 - Emesis - Quora
And as far as obeying the law on your bicycle, here’s my approach, and it’s based on both respect and common sense:
—When I’m in little fantasy bubble realms like gentrified Brooklyn where there’s an actual infrastructure designed to incorporate cars and bicycles and pedestrians, and where it actually makes sense to follow the law because the people who laid out the infrastructure actually realizes that cars and bikes are completely different, I’m more than happy to be a good little boy scout;
—When I’m in Midtown or some other place where I’m “sharing the road” (that’s cute) and thousands of two-ton 350 horsepower motor vehicles are bearing down on me because they’re driven by people whose only priority is getting to the Midtown Tunnel or the 59th Street bridge as quickly as possible, you can be damn well sure I’ll do whatever the hell I need to do in order to get a head start on these homicidal mutherfuckers, and that includes running the light if I deem it safer to do so;
—When I’m in the city, I do not ride on the sidewalk. However, if I’m in some suburban or exurban area on one of those heavy traffic routes with no shoulder that feeds into an Interstate, and there’s a sidewalk, and nobody has actually walked on that sidewalk since 1963 because they’re all in their cars speeding to the mall, and I feel like I need to use the sidewalk to cross that Interstate, you’re goddamn right I’m going to do it no matter what the law says. I’m going to “obey the letter of the law” in that situation to prove I “deserve respect?” Fuck that.
In other words, I’ll use bicycle infrastructure responsibly if you give it to me, but screw you if you think I’m going to pretend it’s there when it’s not. And if you think I don’t “deserve” the infrastructure I don’t have, then you’re in denial of both physics and common human decency.
A bit frothy in the mouth, but his basic approach is similar to mine.
The computer world is not yet finished, but everyone is behaving as if everything was known. This is not true.
In fact, the computer world as we know it is based upon one tradition that has been waddling along for the last fifty years, growing in size and ungainliness, and essentially defining the way we do everything.
My view is that today’s computer world are based on techie misunderstandings of human thought and human life, and the imposition of inappropriate structures throughout the computer and through the files and applications, the imposition of inappropriate structures on things we want to do in the human world.
Ted Nelson on Pernicious Computer Traditions